I asked my friend Dave at lunch today, “So what would you do if you never had to work again for the rest of your life?”
He promptly responded “I’d love to travel the world!”
We have all dreamed of escaping our mundane routines some day and setting out on a journey to explore the world. We even seek jobs that can offer a prospect of traveling in order to be a little closer to our ultimate goal. However, the idea of having traveled the world is imagined by many, but realized by only a few.
Here’s 4 powerful reasons to make travel your gateway to happiness:
1. CURE FOR IGNORANCE & FEAR
This is the most important reason to make travel your #1 priority. We live in a world full of prejudice where our thinking is constantly being influenced through various forms of information. For example, the news media is often blamed to offer biased views towards certain groups, communities, races, regions or even entire nationalities. This bombardment of judgement has led to increasing ignorance and fear which is precisely the root cause for the conflicts we face today.
Travel is the biggest ice breaker and cure for the fearful ignorant society we are breeding today. Have you noticed how certain parts of the world are often portrayed as violent, dangerous or unsafe whereas others as safe havens devoid of any threats to society? Yes, there are places that can be relatively unsafe, but does that allow us the right to generalize and boycott an entire part of the world?
There is beauty all around, and travel makes one realize how people all over the globe essentially belong to the same mold with amazing similarities in our thinking and struggles in life. It offers a new perspective on our existence and the minuscule space we occupy on this planet. Let us not allow a small fraction of society to induce emotions of negativity and fear and let’s experience the world through our own eyes.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”
— Mark Twain
2. QUICK PASS TO IMPROVING YOURSELF
The first time I traveled alone, I outsourced all my booking and planning worries to a travel agent who customized my entire week long trip into the limited options he could offer. This experience taught me the true meaning of ‘exploring’, and how relying on a travel itinerary prepared by an agent can be the worst way to travel.
Traveling makes you a planner – be it making several booking arrangements for transport or lodging, or budgeting your entire trip in order to save that last penny, or simply managing your time to accommodate the various activities each day. Traveling enhances your communication skills, sometimes even without sharing a common language. While you may not learn an entire language, you certainly add new words to your vocabulary.
These skills are the foundation to achieving great results in any walk of life. You will walk out of a trip with a sound understanding of time management, financial planning, communication skills and an unforgettable story!
3. YOU LOOK WITHIN
Realizing our tiny space in this world, broadens our perspective in ways that can be deemed as a shift in consciousness. Travel is a gateway to realizing the needs and problems the world faces, diminishing our personal problems to the lowest level. The narcissism in our thoughts often transforms to feeling empathetic towards the needs of others.
Travel forces us to look within and question ourselves, opening doors to unsolved mysteries of the self, thereby leading to actions revolving around the greater good. It leaves you with great appreciation for the wonderful gift of life, feeling gratitude for the people and moments in our lives. Taming the selfish can be as easy as crossing a border!
“I believe if you’re going to bomb someone you should know them first. It should hurt when you kill someone.”
— Rick Steves
4. YOU ARE HAPPY!
Isn’t the pursuit of happiness our primary goal in life? Simply planning a trip months in advance can make a person happy and excited in anticipation. Travel often brings satisfaction and happiness in our lives, leaving us free from stress in our personal and professional life. A healthy, happy and stress free mind can offer the creative energy boost we all seek in our careers. It may not be a month long vacation, but even a weekend trip leaves us calm and relaxed, ready to conquer the world on our next work day.
With our busy and stressful lifestyles, making time for travel can be difficult and expensive. However, realizing the impact it can have on our life has far reaching benefits and demands that first step.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
— Chinese proverb